Bad days happen. Sometimes, unexpected events catch us off guard, small frustrations pile up, and major life changes knock the wind out of us. That can lead to a downward spiral…and cause us to only see the negative. Suddenly, finding joy becomes an impossible task. Though happiness is something that should come easily, it rarely seems to. This is because our lives tend to be focused on what comes next. Whether that is a promotion at work, buying a home, or starting a family, many of us live in the future rather than the present moment. That mentality is dangerous because it robs you of joy in the here and now.
So, if you’re having a rough time at work or simply want to infuse your day with a little positivity, keep reading. These coping mechanisms will help brighten your day in no time.
Finding Joy by Paying It Forward
There is no easier way to feel better than to make someone else feel better. Doing something simple, like giving a compliment, smiling to a stranger, or saying thank you can make a world of difference in another person’s life. Whenever you are feeling down – focus on small acts of kindness. You will instantly feel more positive and upbeat.
Don’t believe it? According to research by Dr. Michael Babula, people dedicated to helping others tend to live more successful and stress-free lives. They also experience lower rates of depression and anxiety – and have higher self-esteem. What does that mean? Even when you don’t feel like helping someone else, give it a try. Hold a door open, send a long overdue text message to a friend, or donate your time to a charity of your choice. Finding joy may be easier than you thought.
Spend Time Outdoors
Finding joy doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the simplest ways to find your happy place is to take a few steps outside. Many studies have shown that spending fifteen to twenty minutes in a natural setting can boost your mood. Simply going for a walk or sitting in a nearby park can help you feel grounded and connected to the earth. This in itself is beneficial but it also helps put things into perspective.
Maybe that argument you had with a friend suddenly won’t seem so life-or-death. Or the stress you felt while stuck in traffic will become a distant memory. Remember, whenever you feel unhappy or overwhelmed, the answer is just outside your front door. Breathe deeply, spend time outside, and soak up all the natural beauty this world has to offer.
Write Out a Gratitude List
It is amazing how often we forget to be grateful. For instance, while you may not enjoy your job every single day…. it keeps a roof over your head and allows you to interact with people on a regular basis. Take time to shift your mindset from the so-called negative aspects of a situation and really focus on finding joy.
Whenever you feel down or depressed, get grateful instead. Take a few minutes and write out five to ten things that you are grateful for right now. (Your list may include loved ones, being alive, a new book you’re reading, or the endless opportunities that are available to you.) By the time you finish writing, you will be grinning from ear to ear.
Don’t Be Afraid to Smile
Sometimes, when life gets you down, smiling is just not in the cards. After a long day, you may not be in a smiling mood. That’s okay! Even if you don’t quite feel like smiling…do it anyway. Faking a smile has been found to be just as effective as a genuine smile. This simple act reduces stress levels and makes you feel happier.
To brighten your day, set one minute aside to just sit there and smile. (You might feel silly at first but before long, that joy and positivity will start to shine through.) After a little while, your problems will seem a little more manageable.
Add Positive Affirmations to Your Day
Finding joy often starts with changing our mindset. Though it may be tempting to think unpleasant or judgmental thoughts over and over again…it won’t make the situation better. One suggestion is to recite positive affirmations. An affirmation is really anything you think or speak. So rather than thinking negative thoughts (which lower your vibrational energy and attract negativity), actively focus on thinking positively. You can do this by saying joy-filled affirmations out loud or in your head.
Joy Boosting Affirmations to Try
Improve your mood, brighten your day, and feel joyful with these positive affirmations. They will help you live a life overflowing with joy and gratitude.
- Nothing in this world is impossible. Happiness is always within reach.
- I have the power to make my world joyful. I choose to do so…and to share that joy with everyone in my life.
- My heart is open to positive experiences and a joyful state of being.
- Today, I will do more of what I love. I will honour my passions, my creativity, and my true self.
- There is beauty in everything around me. I laugh, smile, and feel blessed to be alive and aware in this moment.
- Every day, I learn more about myself. Every day, I love myself a little more.
- I recognize that there is much to be grateful for. Each blessing in my life brings me an endless abundance of joy.
- The sun doesn’t have to shine to make me smile. Light radiates from within me!
- I live a life without resentment or guilt.
- I am a happy, positive person, with gifts to share.
Allow these positive affirmations to infuse your everyday life with joy. Recite them during stressful times, first thing in the morning, or whenever you need a pick me up. For more affirmations, you can always check out books or audio programs from teachers related to the new thought movement.
In the words of John Denver, “Some days are diamonds. Some days are stones.” Whether your day is a diamond or a stone…you can still enjoy life. Try one of these coping mechanisms the next time you feel low and remember that finding joy is always possible.